Stillwater Fly Fishing Techniques-A Beginner’s Guide

Aren’t we as fly anglers keen on getting increasingly viable at angling? For some of us even the littlest lakes appear as though an unfathomable body with no knowledge concerning where or how to angle it.

Therefore, to transform ourselves into a capable fly fisher on such lakes implies contributing time and efforts to figure out how their environments work.

The trick is to acquire information about the structure of the lakes, available food sources in them, favored natural surroundings of different fish species along with the best time of the day and season to catch them.

Stillwater Fly Fishing Techniques-A Beginner’s Guide

Lakes are considerably more clandestine regarding these clues when contrasted with waterways and streams. There are no water currents to direct where fish can be found or their habitats.

These are some of the reasons why various anglers are not sure about angling in lakes as comprehending them can resemble a riddle, where we settle for little pieces gradually and in the long run have the total big picture.

However, we have tried to list some tips to help set up that puzzle of stillwater fly fishing techniques, which may lead to more achievement.

Let’s solve them!

Stillwater Fly Fishing Techniques

Stillwater Fly Fishing

Fish Habitat

Trout lakes can be separated into three unmistakable living space zones as follows:

The Reef Zone

The reef or littoral zone is the shallow zone of the lake, with about 25 feet depth. It has the most daylight exposure, which plays a huge role in deciding the general lake efficiency.

The reef is the place where the vegetation develops and where most of the aquatic food sources are discovered. It is basically the food market and the fish go there for food, making it the most significant territory of the lake with regards to getting trout.

The Drop-Off Zone

A drop-off zone is the place where the shoal zone advances to the more profound waters of the lake. The slant of the drop-off can be flat or very steep. They are additionally an ideal feeding zone for the fish as it has the maximum green vegetation.

These drop-offs offer shelter from the hotter waters of the lake during the sweltering summers.

The Deepwater Zone

Another one is the deepwater zone. As the water rapidly extends to this waterway, the living space zone provided by it is moderately short or limited.

Also, the deepwater zone has minimal measure of invertebrate natural surroundings like bugs and other food sources. Be that as it may, in numerous waterbodies the deepwater or mid-lake zone have varied productive flies and resulting developments.

Observe The Water And Its Inhabitants 

Sometimes when you use flies, fish do not take it. Therefore it’s important for you to coordinate them to the patterns and shading of the bugs devoured by the fish.

In this case, you may use a small net to catch insects, pupae, emergers etc. from the lake to examine them. Spot their patterns and shading to watch their genuine development process.

When trout feed on bugs on the surface and subsurface of water, they create ripples and rises. They are used as hints by the fisherman with regards to what bugs and flies they are choosing.

The ones that devour from minnows frequently show pursuing and cutting ascents on the water surface as they feed on various bait fish. Continuously observe the moving fish to see any of them bouncing, sprinkling or moving on a superficial level.

Food Sources Of Aquatic Invertebrates  

Becoming acquainted with a specific lake or more than one means realizing which food sources are available in them and learning the developments that are impossible to miss in those individual lakes.

Figure out how to perceive the significant invertebrate’s sources of food for they largely contribute to the eating routine of trout and other fish species in numerous stillwaters.

These Invertebrates can be caddisfly, chironomids, damselflies, dragonflies, backswimmers, parasites, snails and so on. Similarly significant is a sound comprehension of each of their life cycles and environment prerequisites.

Preferred Flies Of Fish

Fish that only feed on a couple of predominant food sources can get hard to get in the lake. Little supplement rich lakes frequently have enormous chironomid and scud populaces.

Fishermen that have steady achievement in these waters have taken in the subtleties of the life cycles and natural surroundings inclinations of these favored food sources.

For example, when chironomid pupae suspend just a few distance from the lake for a few days as they complete the change from the larval to pupal stage, there may be extraordinary angling despite the fact that there is no indication of any development at the surface.

Artificial Flies To Use

You should do some research to realize what flies, bugs and other food sources are emerging in the stillwaters before heading there to fly angle. This data can be accessed in nearby fly shops, fly angling clubs and provincial angling manuals.

Artificial Flies

After collecting the desired information, your fly box will have both nonexclusive impersonations of food sources in addition to some refined examples that intently mimic the different life phases of bugs discovered explicitly in those waters.

You may make them at home, however there are numerous economically tied flies, constituting all the significant food sources of trout and other fish found in lakes.

Fundamental fly examples that ought to be in your stillwater fly are damselflies in varied colors of olive, leeches in colors of dark, maroon and dull green (with and without bead heads), dragonfly in light and dim olive body hues, shrimp or scud designs in the same color as dragonfly, mayfly sprites in dim earthy colored to tan and lastly a collection of chironomid.

The chironomid pupal may have colors of dark, earthy colored, green and maroon with stomach ribbings of silver, copper or gilded wire. You may include a couple of dry flies to impersonate the grown-up caddis, chironomid and  mayflies.


You may read numerous great reference books that provide valuable information on the location, life history, features and spread of the most well-known stillwater insects.

The life cycle and development designs of these aquatic Invertebrates are alike irrespective of the geographical location of the lake.

Look Closely For The Birds 

Various birds like gulls locate these rising mayflies, bugs, caddisflies and other forms of insects significantly more rapidly than we, fly fishers can.

So, it is imperative for you to watch these birds. In order to do that, you may use binoculars, specifically when angling bigger lakes.

More often than not, insect hatches can be limited to specific shores or explicit areas in a lake. Frequently, a specific colored chironomid (insects and flies) can be rising in one zone and an entirely distinct size and colored bugs are rising in another area.

This is most common on bigger water bodies.

Role Of Water Temperature 

Water temperature impacts the fly hatches. Each and every form of insect have favored temperature ranges for growth and development. These hatches follow a succession that ordinarily starts with midges, trailed by mayflies, at that point damselflies, caddisflies and finally dragonflies.

Their development happens mostly when temperature of surface water extend somewhere in the range of 50 to 65° F. When this occurs, you may notice numerous bugs and other species developing simultaneously which can be confounding to both fish and fisherman.

Therefore, it is advisable to depend on your own insights on singular bug development techniques and be set up to introduce all alternatives to lure the fish.

Fish Movement 

In the event that you notice fish moving in a particular territory and you are not finding anything where you are angling, then take you gear and move to where those fish are.

These bouncing fish may not be devouring anything, however in any case they are revealing to you that they are presently active and there might be others in the region that are eating or ready to pursue a fly.

Angling Set Up

Frequently the best method to fly angle in the little trout lakes includes a steady, level bottomed pontoon or pram. It gives the greatest advantage to fly anglers to stand up and watch out into and across the waterbody.

This is a specific preferred position when angling still water as the conduct and development designs of fish can be seen and spotted.

Another acceptable choice is crafts as the fisherman sits sufficiently high in them to observe the water and its inhabitants. Nowadays, various pontoons have standing stages for better performance. The vessels and pontoons can be moved from region to zone a lot quicker than a float tube.

This is advantageous when you are attempting to find explicit fly developments in a bigger waterway. As mentioned before, fly hatches can happen toward one side or zone of a lake without existing in another area.

Fly Lines To Angle In Depth Zones

Stillwater fishermen ought to be set up to introduce flies from the lake surface to water depth of more than 45 feet. A comprehension of the life cycle of individual insects will direct to those depth zones which might be angled when that specific food source is developing or is promptly accessible.

Gliding fly lines are able to reach the shore zone with water between 2 to 3 feet to 20 feet in and out. They are perfect for introducing skimming, rising, and nymphal impersonations.

A moderate or intermediate sinking line is a decent line for angling the more profound areas of the shore, for example, in water with somewhere in the range of 10 to 20 feet down. This line permits moderate introduction of pupal and nymphal designs while climbing at a slow edge towards the water surface.

A quick sinking line gives great covering distance of depth range of 20 to 40 feet and are valuable for angling dragonfly, leeches, shrimp and nymphs along the more profound edges of drop-offs or recovering flies up to the top of the drop-off.

Other Factors To Consider


It is essential to have anchors out when you are flying angling on a pontoon and this is particularly significant if more than one person angling from a same vessel.

When the breeze is continually altering course, double anchoring helps to keep the vessel from swinging to and fro. A fixed vessel permits the efficient control of retrieves as well as fly lines.

It is critical to have a straight line association between the fly pole, leader, fly line and fly as could be expected under the circumstances so that even the gentlest strike of a fish can be recognized.

Basic anchor control pulley frameworks enable easy lifting, setting and storing the anchors while simultaneously causing little motion inside the vessel.

Depth Sounder

Another fundamental device for the stillwater fly anger is a fish discoverer or depth sounder. We have to be aware of the profundity we are angling in with the goal that flies can be introduced in the correct zone at the right depth.

Depth or profundity sounders are generally costly yet productive instruments. In case you are purchasing one, then make sure that it has a transducer cone point which ought to be equal to or more than 50 ° wide.

Likewise, a sounder should have side checking abilities. When we angle still water, we usually do it in water under the range of 20 feet, therefore it is important to know if fish are available where we are angling.

You should also check the power backup of the depth sounder as ones having small batteries can experience power at a quick rate.

Outdoor Carpeting 

Do not neglect the fact that sound ventures quickly in water and trout consist of sensitive hearing.

Angling out of a pontoon can be uproarious, especially in the event that it is made out of aluminum. You may decrease the odds of terrifying fish by fitting exterior covers over the floor of the vessel.  frameworks.

Polarized Sunglasses

Lastly, polarized sunglasses permit you to see underneath the surface to locate drop-offs, shores, spring territories and insects better.

Make use of them.


We hope that this article may have helped you in informing about stillwater fly fishing techniques before heading out to your destination.

When discovering a lake, gradually troll or float and cast around the base while getting a decent glance at shores, drop-offs, weeds and indented islands.

Leeches and dragonfly nymphs are, in every case, great patterns to look for. These two spineless creatures are common occupants of lakes and both are enormous food sources for fish. Try not to be hesitant to attempt flashy or splendid flies.

Always be set up to use differing speed and direction during casting or recovering a fly.

Happy fishing!